2017 NHL Draft - Portraits

1st Round, 9th overall, Michael Rasmussen, Center, 6’6” 221lbs

 

With their highest pick in over 25 years, Detroit took a big man center from the WHL. While this certainly isn’t a reach, he was all over the board. Depending on the ranking, he found himself as high as 5th, and as low as 16th, compared to other prospects. His strengths are his net front presence, and the ability to play in the corners on offense. While not NHL ready, he should be in Grand Rapids next year gaining great experience and working on his defense. I expect him to move to the wing, and play along side Dylan Larkin to get some pressure off of him.

 

2nd Round, 38th overall, Gustav Lindstrom, Defense, 6’2” 187lbs

 

While Rasmussen wasn’t a reach, this pick may have been as Lindstrom was ranked in the 100s on most lists. He didn’t play in a high profile league in Sweden, which may have contributed to his low ranking, but his skills are expected to translate well. His lone weakness seems to be his skating, but something that can be worked on in development over the next few years. There is actually a precedent for the Wings taking sleepers in the second round, as they traded up to select Tyler Bertuzzi, who wasn’t even on draft boards, and has turned into one of Detroit’s top prospects.

 

3rd Round, 71st overall, Kasper Kotkansalo, Defense, 6’2” 190lbs

 

Going in the opposite direction of the offensive minded defenseman, Lindstrom, Kasper Kotkansalo is defense first, and he loves to play with grit. He is going to one of the best college programs in the country next year at Boston University, and wants to work on the offensive game, while just making his defense even better. 

 

3rd round, 79th overall, Lane Zablocki, Center, 6’0”, 185lbs

 

Zablocki is the pick to add depth in the bottom six of the team. A player that is comparable to Tyler Bertuzzi in that he is an agitator who can score goals down deep, scoring 54 points in 64 games in the WHL last year. 

 

3rd round, 83rd overall, Zach Gallant, Center, 6’2”, 187lbs

 

Dropping to the third round because of his shot, Gallant won best faceoff player and best defensive forward in the OHL, as voted by the coaches. He will continue to develop in junior, and hopefully will continue to build his shot up.

 

3rd round, 88th overall, Keith Petruzzelli, Goalie, 6’5” 180lbs

 

What could possibly be the steal of the draft, the Wings were able to snag the #2 goalie according to NHL Central Scouting. At six foot five, he’s able to use his entire body to protect the net, and his glove is the cherry on top. His age is a huge plus, 18, which will give him time to bulk up, and add to his 6’5” frame. Next year, he’ll compete for the starting job against two Sophomores at Quinnipiac.

 

4th round, 100th overall, Malte Sekov, Defense, 6’6”, 185lbs

 

Last year, Sekov made huge strides in his development as he played in three different leagues as he continued to get better. He looks to be using his size more, and is able to make great decisions to generate offense out of his own zone. It looks like he’ll be playing in the Super Elite league, and look to continue to add size. 

 

5th round, 131st overall, Cole Fraser, Defense, 6’2” 192lbs

 

A shut down defenseman, Fraser’s game lacks any aspect of offense. His ceiling seems to be a 5 or 6 defenseman.

 

6th Round, 162nd overall, Jack Adams, Right Wing, 6’5” 194lbs

 

A big body, but still has some weight to gain, Adams is the only winger the Wings selected in the draft. A couple of knocks on him are his age, 20, and his skating, but there’s not many players selected this late in the draft that don’t have a few warts on them. He’ll be starting a college career at Union College next year as a junior, where hopefully his skills will be honed, and he’ll be able to add some weight.

 

6th round, 164th overall, Reilly Webb, Defense, 6’3” 192lbs

 

Mainly falling due to a separated shoulder this year, he was originally projected in the 3rd or 4th round before injury. At this point in the draft, it may be a fine gamble for the Wings. 

 

7th Round, 193rd overall, Brady Gilmour, Center, 5’10” 170lbs

 

Plays with a lot of heart and tenacity, Detroit likes his drive but don’t expect to see him in a winged wheel any time soon.